I think I mentioned this before, so bear with me if it’s redundant info, but despite avoiding complex, non-Zach Morrisian mobile phones for the majority of my adult life, over the last year, I’ve succumbed. I’d like to think it’s for the better. I feel more organized. I can play games at will. My time at unorthodox places like dentist offices and roadside fruit stands is full of the things I used to only enjoy from the comfort of my office chair. I’m constantly connected, for better or worse, to everyone I know – in whatever manner they propose to contact me. So in the end, the phone helps indulge my obsessiveness (and helps others as well).
Which brings me to this post.
Being a marketer, I am bombarded with posts, feeds, tweets, @rants, etc., about the ubiquity of cell phones – and how you’re a freakin’ imbecile if you don’t go full-throttle into some sort of all-encompassing, data-driven, ROI-generating, mobilic, Googilic, juggernaut advertising campaign. Most educated marketers will access their audience (and hopefully their common sense) before engaging in such a campaign, but ALL businesses can and should start small.
I’ve read entire posts about how businesses should add Wi-Fi so customers can access locally targeted offers, do some on the spot price comparing, and generally facilitate the process of making the sale, and I agree with that logic. Starbucks, Barnes and Noble, and similar establishments give you Wi-Fi because then you’ll sit there, read more..and generally raise the percentage a bit that you’ll walk out of there with something. It’s as old as peanuts in bars.
But, let’s take a step back and look at it from a more basic level. I don’t care what the business is. I like businesses that have Wi-Fi because –
1. You’re saving me money by NOT using my data plan
2. I don’t have to think twice about using UP my data plan
3. I feel sweet because I can check out what I want, when i want.for FREE..and you helped me do that, so I’m loving you for it and feel a little reciprocity effect when it comes to buying from you.
With the Iphone, the thing actually pops up when it detects local networks (which is why we should all name our networks something cool like “Your Mom”). Which brings me to my@Fail list regarding Wi-Fi:
1. Networks that are locked out entirely at a business. Seriously?! Why tempt me?
2. Networks that aren’t locked out, but take you to a login page that requires a password. I’ve literally walked out of places where this is the case.
3. Places that directly benefit from Wi-Fi and don’t have it..hello..Best Buy?!
4. Places that confine HotSpots to sitting areas. I’ve got a phone that is mobile and a home that isn’t…I don’t have to be sitting to want to know EVERYTHING NOW.
If I went all Old Glory Insurance on you and said that you could improve your business’s relationship with your youngest, most tech-savy, socially-engaged customers for pennies a day, wouldn’t you do it?
In this age of penny-pinching, I’m surprised I haven’t read more about this. I suspect data usage will become more of a topic as more and more folks feel the pinch of non-unlimited data plans. At this point, it seems the cell phone companies have done a pretty good job conditioning people to absorb the cost of data. Me, I don’t like the thought of absorbing the cost of anything.
To hammer home this point, I was at a Harrisburg Senators game the other night. I took a sweet picture of the fireworks that occurred after the game, and tried to Facebook it. The Iphone4 has a sweet high-res camera, but that camera comes with a price if you want to share: to upload in full glory, I had to chop it smaller, or use 1/4 of my 200MB data plan?! Are you freaking kidding me?
Ok, the next big thing alert..are you ready for this? A site that socializes this – I accessed (insert wild/disgusting/raunchy website) on (Insert Business)’s Wi-Fi. You can’t tell me someone won’t think that’s at least deserving of a hash tag…#MyWiFI #MiFI ….ha. It’s kind of like a much, much, dorkier version of the Mile High Club.
So the final takeaway here is, 1. I’m cheap, and 2. I’m obsessive. Goodbye and Goodnight! Hit me up @mattriggleman if you have anything to share.